Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

These Grilled Jalapeño Poppers are stuffed with shrimp and then wrapped in bacon.  Add in the smoky grilled flavor and you’ve got a seriously awesome summer appetizer!

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Grilled Jalapeno Poppers: These jalapenos are stuffed with shrimp and wrapped with bacon to create the PERFECT summer grilled appetizer!
I remember where I was when I first ate a Spicy Rat Toe.  I was standing in the middle of Atlantic Station in Atlanta, and I was very skeptical about the idea.  I guess I should explain.  As unnerving as they sound, Spicy Rat Toes are a totally normal thing in Atlanta.  They’re one of the most popular appetizers at Six Feet Under, a pub with two locations in Atlanta.  So what exactly are Spicy Rat Toes?  Well, they’re basically grilled jalapeño poppers. Take whole jalapeños, stuff ’em with shrimp and wrap ’em in bacon.  My wife and I were wandering around Taste of Atlanta when we stumbled across these delicious little appetizers.  In case you’re wondering, the seeds and ribs are removed from the jalapeños, so they’re not as spicy as you might think.  Well, check that.  They’re still spicy.  They just won’t burn your face off.  If you’re searching for a fun grilled appetizer to serve this summer, then search no more!  These Grilled Jalapeño Poppers are sure to be a hit!

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers: These jalapenos are stuffed with shrimp and wrapped with bacon to create the PERFECT summer grilled appetizer!

I thought about calling these Spicy Grilled Jalapeño Poppers, but then I figured that would be a bit redundant.  I mean, you’re eating an entire jalapeño after all!  To be fair, the seeds and ribs are removed first, but these bad boys are still on the spicier end of things…especially if you happen to get a spicy batch of jalapeños.  Either way, you serve these Grilled Jalapeño Poppers with a dish of creamy ranch (or blue cheese) dressing which helps cool off a bit of the heat.

The first time I made these Grilled Jalapeño Poppers, I didn’t do such a good job at cleaning out the seeds and ribs from the jalapeños.  We could barely eat them they were so hot!  (This time, I actually cut a slit down the side of each jalapeño to make sure I got all of the seeds and ribs out.  I also soaked them in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes which helped moderate the heat, too.)

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers: These jalapenos are stuffed with shrimp and wrapped with bacon to create the PERFECT summer grilled appetizer!Speaking of eating whole peppers, I will never forget the time we were hanging out on our back deck in Atlanta with friends.  We’d had a few beers.  We also had a little potted pepper plant growing on our back deck.  I don’t remember what kind of peppers they were.  They were small and red, and I was scared to eat them.  Well, somehow the challenge was issued to eat one of these peppers whole.  One of my best friends accepted the challenge, and it was quite possibly the funniest moment ever.  I think the words “It feels like battery acid running down my face” were used in there somewhere.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, beer doesn’t help moderate the burning.  (In fact, as my buddy learned, alcohol just intensifies the burning sensation.)  Ah, good times.

Despite this story, don’t be afraid of these Grilled Jalapeño Poppers.  Sure, they are spicy.  That’s where the ranch dipping sauce comes in.  But as long as you remove the seeds and ribs, you actually end up with an incredibly tasty grilled appetizer!

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers: These jalapenos are stuffed with shrimp and wrapped with bacon to create the PERFECT summer grilled appetizer!

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

These Grilled Jalapeño Poppers are stuffed with shrimp and then wrapped in bacon.  Add in the smoky grilled flavor and you’ve got a seriously awesome summer appetizer!
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 56kcal


  • 16 large jalapenos
  • 16 medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 8 slices bacon cut in half
  • 16 medium length skewers
  • Ranch dressing


  • Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Using a paring knife, slice the tops off of the jalapenos. Cut a slit down the side of each jalapeno and carefully remove the ribs and seeds. (Tip: Have a bowl of water handy. Dunking the jalapenos in water helps get the last few seeds out. If desired, soaking the peppers in water for about 30 minutes, too--it helps reduce the the heat a bit.)
  • Preheat grill to medium-low heat (~350°F)
  • Stuff each jalapeno with one shrimp. Wrap jalapeno with half slice of bacon and then secure bacon with a skewer through the center.
  • Place jalapenos on grill and cook for 8-10 min, or until bottom portion of bacon is cooked but not burnt. Flip jalapenos and grill for 8-10 more minutes, or until bacon is crispy and shrimp is fully cooked.
  • Serve hot with a side of ranch dressing.

This recipe was featured in CheapThriftyLiving’s collection of 30 Cheap BBQ Food Ideas for Your Summer Cookout!

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  1. Hey – love this post but when I hit Like – it will not let me – just goes to 0?
    Have a “HOT” 4th!

  2. Alright dude, now we’re talking. I mean, this is the kind of meal I live for.
    Easy, quick, with a good amount of heat, a ton of flavor and 100% paleo (not vegan). One word: AWESOME!
    *Virtual fist bum to my Belgian friend*

    1. Thanks, Mike! If I wanted to make this vegan, what exactly would I need to do? I come to you as a young grasshopper seeking wisdom from your timeless experiences. 🙂 *Virtual fist bump back* (I assume you meant fist bump and not fist bum…)

  3. One of our local pizza places has a pizza of the month. This month it was jalapeno popper pizza. They used a cream cheese base for the sauce and their were jalapeno’s on the top. The hubby and my brother in law got it to share. Wow! Lets just say they were bargaining for some of our pepperoni pizza. These appetizers look delicious, love the idea of using the bacon.

    1. Wow! A jalapeno popper pizza…that sounds delicious! (But only if you get all of the ribs and seeds…otherwise it would be brutal. Sounds like your hubby and brother in law got the brutal side!) I might have to come up with a version of that jalapeno popper pizza in the winter! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Cindy! This is a delicious appetizer…as long as you get the seeds and ribs out of the jalapenos…otherwise, you’re in for a long night! 🙂 Have a great weekend!!

    1. Wow, you are too nice, Becca!! I had no idea poppers are your favorite…I’ll make an extra big batch for dinner tonight! See you at 6:00??

    1. Thanks so much, Kristi! They’re a delicious summer appetizer. My wife and I actually ate this batch for dinner one night. 🙂 I hope you enjoy!

    1. Haha…tell me about it, Cate! I think that’s what first caught my eye when we heard about this in Atlanta. I was like, “I think I need to know what that is…” I kinda figured I shouldn’t call them Spicy Rat Toes here on the blog, though. Just a hunch! 🙂

  4. Ok I’m wrapping these in turkey bacon and roasting them up this week as I grill up 😉 Will be an easy side with some steak lol! Hope you guys had a great weekend 🙂

    1. Heck yeah, Z! Steak and jalapeno poppers sound delicious. Kinda like your own version of surf and turf! Let me know how the turkey bacon grills up. We had an awesome weekend…hope you guys did, too! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Serena!! I never thought I could down entire jalapenos in one bite until I met these awesome poppers!! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  5. Hi David! Just cruising your site as usual. I showed this to my husband and his response was “I could eat 2 or 3…dozen of those”! Regarding your pepper plant, it sounds like a Thai chile, very pretty, very small red peppers which are extremely hot! And the answer to cooling off your mouth is either a dairy product (sour cream or milk) or a piece of bread – the dairy is cooling and the bread picks up the oils from the pepper, therefore removing it from your mouth. 🙂

    1. I just googled Thai Chile and I think that might be the very plant that I’m talking about, Dorothy! You solved it! I know I bought the darned thing when I first moved to Baton Rouge, but then I forgot what actual kind of pepper it was. And that plant grew almost as big as a small tree down there. 🙂 Thank you so much for being awesome and cruising around to these old posts…I really do appreciate it! I hope you and your husband (and your pups) had an awesome Fourth!

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